Quick Printing

JUL 2013

Quick Printing is the resource for the Commercial printing, visual and graphic arts industries. Since 1977, Quick Printing has focused on improving efficiency and increasing sales and profits in the print shop. Industry experts share their ideas and

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Is Your Company Ready for Workfow Software? Workflow software is more sophisticated than ever, but are you ready to automate? By Howard Riell he use of workfow software among printers is growing, all right. But so is the potential for less than desired results if used incorrectly. Knowing when a company is ready for such a step— then finding and implementing just the right software package, and in just the right way—can prove tricky. T silo system off in the corner. To pay off it's got to be an integral part of your business flow." The Right Fit, the Right Time Vital to consider before purchase is a company's own business model, says Wold. "Are they general commercial, doing every kind of random custom job that comes in the door? Or are they trying to build a product-specific niche?" Workflow pays off faster, he feels, when it's "a 'nichier' product. You're producing a higher volume of less diverse orders. When you are doing a broad diversity of random orders, you attack that workflow project in a different way, and the payoff time is longer." Also crucial, Wold adds, is making sure that the business flow is connected to the workflow. "I can't stress this enough: the utility, the opportunity to save and achieve ROI, is not just in making those files transform faster. It's in connecting the business intelligence of the orders coming into your enterprise, having that drive the workflow itself. You do not want your workflow to be some isolated While there are a lot of factors for a printer to consider, says Miranda Reeves, senior product manager for Ricoh Production Print Solutions, "the most critical thing is trying to find a solution that will fit nicely with what they have going on today." Almost every printer has some process in place, she explains, "even if it's manual." Choosing a solution that will not integrate, "and is not going to work in conjunction with the investments they've made and what they've got already in place, means they are going to end up having to overhaul their whole business process. And that seems to never pan out," says Reeves. "There have been a lot of long, drawn-out failures lately that I have seen." How long it takes to implement a management system, says Gerald Walsh, director of market development for the EFI Productivity Software team, can be Eric Wold, vice president of Datatech SmartSoft Inc. Miranda Reeves, senior product manager for Ricoh Production Print Solutions. Gerald Walsh, director of market development for the EFI Productivity Software team. "Yes, it is growing," confirms Eric Wold, vice president of Datatech SmartSoft Inc. in Agoura, CA. The reason, he says, is "in part because its utility is growing outside of the usual boundaries. It's becoming much more achievable to connect other upstream and downstream processes in a seamless way. That way, logic-based decisions happen and drive the workflow; rather than a human operator, for instance, having to look at it, figure out what kind of job this is, and go drop it where it goes." How Does Your Work Flow? 18 QUICK PRINTING / July 2013 w w w. M y P R I N T R e s o u r c e . c o m

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